The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason—that book was awesome. It came out in 2007 from a tiny publisher (tinier even than the others) and was republished by FSG last year, at which point my esteemed friend Mansbach gave it a review in the Times. I think he was less enthusiastic than I have since become. The book is not just a game with the Odyssey, though it’s that too, but a genuine rewriting of it. For what was the thing about Odysseus? He was crafty; he was smarter than everyone else. But what did it mean to be smarter than a bunch of peasants; what did it mean to be a logician six hundred years before the birth of Pythagoras? Mason puts the ingeniousness, the cleverness, and the math back into Odysseus and back also into contemporary literature. It’s interesting that, according to the jacket copy, Mason in his day-to-day life works on artificial intelligence: Computers too are pre-logical, full of force but lacking reason. Working with computers all those years, Mason must himself have come to feel like Odysseus among the Agamemnon-era Greeks.